Spying for Peace

Title:                      Spying for Peace

Author:                 Jon Kimche

Kimche, Jon (1961). Spying for Peace: General Guisan And Swiss Neutrality. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson

LCCN:    62003141

D754.S9 K5


Date Updated:  October 16, 2015

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

Kimche was born in Switzerland and was a correspondent of the London Evening Standard during World War II. His reason for writing this was his belief that the story of the Swiss and of General Guisan, the chief of their armed forces, had too long been ignored. He purports to tell how the general and Swiss intelligence ensured Swiss neutrality by their ability to compete with the services of the warring powers and by using their intelligence to warn of possible attack. The style is journalistic and there are no source references or attributions for what he divulges as “inside information” and for some fascinating facts. There is no citing of German documents to support his claim that it was Guisan’s policy that caused the Germans to respect Swiss neutrality and existence. Many reviewers criticized the work for its many errors but above all for the author’s failure to support his many sensational statements with evidence. That failure is especially lamentable because Switzerland was one of the great intelligence battlefields and Swiss intelligence’s role was crucial in a variety of ways. We cannot, unfortunately, accept Kimche’s story of that war and much else with confidence.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[2]

A complete journalistic account of the presumed interrelationship of Swiss, Russian, German, British, and American intelligence services during World War II. All of these services actively operated in Switzerland, and Swiss intelligence had the delicate job of using its knowledge of all of them as a means of preserving neutrality and warning of possible attack. Kimche WQS military correspondent for the London Evening Standard during World War II.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, p. 271

[2] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., pp. 28-29


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